Oh it’s the Maroon Coats!

Oh it’s the Maroon Coats!

This week in College Station, the big hub-bub is the naming of the new Maroon Coats. On Sunday, April 9th, ten Aggie students had their official coating ceremony. It was also the 10th anniversary of the organization, and in celebration, all former Maroon Coats attended too.

A little bit about Maroon Coats…

As student ambassadors to the Texas A&M Foundation, Maroon Coats aim to increase the culture of philanthropy at Texas A&M University by thanking donors and educating their peers on the importance of outside support. The organization includes Texas A&M University student leaders involved in a range of activities and from various educational disciplines.

Since the organization started 10 years ago, more than 180 students have earned their Maroon Coats. What a wonderful organization, full of students who uphold the A&M core values of excellence, integrity, leadership, loyalty, respect, and selfless service.

Photo: Texas A&M Today

 

Oh it’s computer hacking in Dallas!

Oh it’s computer hacking in Dallas!

It’s my last week of blogging. I know, I’m as sad as you are… I thought a great way to end my time here would be to feature the three cities of Texas that mean the most to me. Dallas, where I was raised, College Station, where I did most of my “growing up”, and San Antonio, where I will build my future.

So here we go, on to Dallas! My brother sent me this link (for background, he’s 15, a freshman in high school, and the cutest lil’ computer nerd) and at first I blew it off. But when I took a second look, it’s actually pretty funny.

This past Saturday, emergency sirens all across Dallas started blaring early in the morning. But was there intense weather? Nope, computer hackers.

Rocky Vaz, director of Dallas’ Office of Emergency Management, said that all 156 of the city’s sirens were activated more than a dozen times.

Officials don’t know who was responsible for the hacking, but Vaz said “with a good deal of confidence that this was someone outside our system” and in the Dallas area.

This is an unprecedented issue in Dallas. It’s a safe city, with no history of computer hacking that I know of. “Identifying who sounded the sirens will be like ‘finding a needle in a haystack.'” Mayor Mike Rawlings said. “This is yet another serious example of the need for us to upgrade and better safeguard our city’s technology infrastructure.”

Wired.com weighed in on the issue saying the same thing as Mayor Rawlings, that the hackers “managed to poignantly (if unintentionally) raise awareness about the threat of infrastructure insecurity.”

What a crazy story and isn’t it refreshing to read a story about hackers that DOESN’T. INVOLVE. RUSSIA?!

Photo: CBS Sacramento

Oh it’s Ring Day!

Oh it’s Ring Day!

It’s here, it’s here, it’s finally here! Today, approximately 6,200 Aggies will receive their Aggie Ring, the outward symbol of their inward pride for the best university in the world.

I pestered Forrest to sit with me and talk a little bit about getting his ring. Albeit we were a bit nervous, neither of us are very good in front of cameras, but doing this piece vlog style helped expand my set of reporting skills. Hope you enjoy, please leave any comments or questions you have!

Video Link HERE.

Oh it’s almost Ring Day, and someone vandalizes the Ring Plaza?

Oh it’s almost Ring Day, and someone vandalizes the Ring Plaza?

September 16, 2016 was one of the most important days in my life. It was the day that solidified all of the hard work I’ve put in for the last three years. September 16 was the day I got my Aggie Ring.

For so many other Aggies, Ring Day is just as special to them. This Friday, April 7, three of my best friends will be getting their Rings too. Let me say, we’re all angry after learning about the recent graffiti incident.

Yesterday morning it was discovered that someone vandalized the concrete surrounding the Ring Statue at the Alumni Center Building. The graffiti says “Rape is inevitable may as well enjoy it – Clayton Williams.”

The KBTX article shed more insight on the story behind this quote:

Clayton Williams is a 1954 graduate of Texas A&M University. The graffiti is likely in reference to a comment Williams made when he ran for governor back in 1990.

According to a Texas Monthly article, during the campaign, Williams attempted to make light of a situation by comparing bad weather to rape, saying “If it’s inevitable, just relax and enjoy it”. Williams lead plummeted following the comment and he eventually went on to lose the race for governor of Texas.

Thankfully the graffiti was cleaned within a few hours, and the security tapes that show the individuals that made this graffiti have been handed to University Police.

Photo: KBTX

Oh goodness, let’s set the record straight on McIntosh

Oh goodness, let’s set the record straight on McIntosh

On March 19, Texas A&M’s newspaper, The Batt, released an article about TAMU Student Body President Elect Bobby Brooks, announcing that he will the first openly gay person to serve in this position. Media platforms were flooded with overwhelmingly amounts of love and support for Bobby. A&M was making bigger and better strides towards diversity!

But then Rick Perry chimed in…

Background

The two finalists for the 2017-2018 Student Body President were Bobby Brooks and Robert McIntosh. McIntosh technically won the election, but was quickly disqualified for several counts of voter intimidation. A full report is here, and lists each instance of voter intimidation.

McIntosh tried to fight these claims, saying that there were no instances of voter intimidation, but merely strong yet friendly campaigning. During this investigation, it was discovered that McIntosh’s team failed to report the purchase of glow sticks on their campaign finance reports.

Rick Perry speaks out?

Many articles have surfaced on my Facebook over the past few days about Rick Perry, and I didn’t understand how/why Rick Perry chose to comment on this seemingly minute issue. But then I read the article from the Texas Tribune.

In its opinion, the Judicial Court admitted that the charges were minor and technical, but, incredibly, chose to uphold the disqualification, with no consideration given to whether the punishment fit the crime. The desire of the electorate is overturned, and thousands of student votes are disqualified because of free glow sticks that appeared for 11 seconds of a months-long campaign. Apparently, glow sticks merit the same punishment as voter intimidation.

– Rick Perry

Former Mr. Governor, I respectfully disagree. I believe that you are ignoring the time line. Sure, glow sticks do not merit the same punishment as voter intimidation, but let’s not forget that the glow sticks were only discovered AFTER McIntosh was disqualified for the aforementioned LIST of instances where he coerced students into voting for him.

Kate’s Final Weigh-In

This is my school, my soon-to-be alma mater, and I am not afraid to speak out when I feel like fools like McIntosh are shaming the Aggie name. In all honesty, I think McIntosh is just butt hurt that he lost. The instances of voter intimidation are REAL and SERIOUS and they’re now getting swept under the rug because of glow sticks? Rick Perry’s comments are just adding fuel to this ridiculous fire. Leave Bobby Brooks alone and let’s celebrate this victory for him and the whole student body.

P.S. Thanks for sticking with me. Here’s a funny Mugdown article to end this blog post on a light note 🙂

Photo: Texas Tribune

Oh no, prayers go out to London after ISIS terrorist attack…

Oh no, prayers go out to London after ISIS terrorist attack…

On March 21, there was a terrorist attack on Westminster Bridge in London.

This attack left seven in critical condition, 22 others hospitalized, and four dead. Of the four fatalities, one was the police officer on the scene and one was the attacker.

The attacker had a history of violence. He had previously been investigated for “violent extremism.” Since the attack, ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack, saying that the attacker was a “soldier of the caliphate.”

Following the attack, the Mayor released this statement:

Londoners will never be cowed by terrorism.

I want to reassure all Londoners and all our visitors not to be alarmed — our city remains one of the safest in the world. London is the greatest city in the world and we stand together in the face of those who seek to harm us and destroy our way of life. We always have, and we always will.

President Donald Trump has since said that the U.S. will offer “full cooperation and support of the United States government in responding to the attack and bringing those responsible to justice.”

My heart goes out to London and its people during this awful time. I can’t imagine the fear following an ISIS attack such as this. I pray that one day, ISIS will get what it deserves for the destruction and devastation that it has caused.

Photo: Daily Mail UK

Oh it’s International Women’s Day!

Oh it’s International Women’s Day!

My Facebook and Instagram blew up today with pictures of girls, women, mothers, friends, saying nothing but kind words of each other. It’s International Women’s Day, a day to show off the achievements, strength, and love of the women in our lives.

One school in Alexandria, VA, used today to launch their own form of protest instead. POLITICO reported that nearly 15,000 children did not go to school today because more than 300 staff members asked not to come to work. This protest was given the name “A Day Without Women” and was meant to show how different pieces of our days would be without women in the world.

The author of this piece raised three questions:

  1. “Are women really attempting to show their value in the workplace by refusing to work?”
  2. “What would happen if all women actually participated?”
  3. “What political remedy are they seeking?”

These are very poignant questions. I know that I am a woman, and there is some amount of bias that I cannot remove as I write this piece. But I also know that I could not get through my day without women. If my professors decided to participate in a protest like this, four of my five classes at A&M would have been cancelled.

Women are so integral to our daily lives, and that’s all this protest was getting at. The author of the POLITICO article did not hide her frustration with the actual removal of women from this Alexandria school…

The “Day Without A Women” organizers made a severe misstep by making children and working families, many of whom who can’t easily skip work or get babysitters, into collateral damage for their dead-end, self-soothing political agenda. School may not be in session in Alexandria, in Prince George’s County, in Chapel Hill, or in parts of Brooklyn, but there’s a lesson the nation can learn from these closures. The modern progressive movement doesn’t have any goals. Just feelings, which come before all else.

What would our days be like without women?

Photo: Facebook Newsroom